The City of Tulsa is launching its first Civic Innovation Fellowship in the Summer of 2018. This is a new program run by the Mayor’s Office of Performance Strategy and Innovation (OPSI). The fellowship will convene six innovative thinkers in the Tulsa community to deeply understand and propose solutions to longstanding or emerging civic challenges. The team will work on a project for six months using a blend of Human Centered Design and Lean Six Sigma approaches.
How much time will I need to invest?
Participants can expect to spend 3-4 hours per week over the course of six months, or about 100 hours total. The fellowship will run from May through October. Meetings will likely occur in the early evening from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays in City Hall. We’ll find a time that works for the entire team. Additional time may be needed if the team needs to work independently.
What are examples of problems the team will work on?
The city has a number of potential projects. Examples include using human-centered design approaches to increase the customer experience with various interactions with the city (permitting, licensing, etc.), increasing voluntary compliance with property maintenance ordinances, decreasing warrant issue rates for municipal court failure to pay.
Who is the perfect candidate for this program?
While there is no “perfect” candidate, there are characteristics that will make the experience more meaningful. Candidates who are interested in local government and are able to think creatively about a complex problem are a good match. Additionally, candidates who are flexible about the topic they’re working on. The OPSI team will try to match the team’s interests with a project at city hall, but there is no guarantee that if you really want to work on an animal welfare project that this will be the project you’ll work on. If you would be disappointed to work on a project that’s not in your wheelhouse of knowledge or interest, the fellowship is probably not the right fit.
Are there any specific education requirements?
No. We are looking for people from all backgrounds to participate.
Is the fellowship paid?
What can I expect to get out of this experience?
You will learn a lot about local government. We’ll have speakers come for each team meeting to talk about different aspects of municipal government. You’ll feel more connected to your local government and be a more informed resident.
I’m really interested, but can’t commit to weekly meetings. Should I still apply?
No. To get the most out of this experience, your team will need your commitment on a weekly basis. This is a hands-on experience that requires participation by the entire team.